Experiences should be personal. Anything else is irrelevant declares Adobe’s content personalization solution on its website. 94% of senior-level executives believe that personalization is critical to reaching customers (according to a study conducted by PWC’s Digital Services Group). Another online personal experience study found that 74% of online customers get frustrated with websites when content appears that has nothing to do with their interests. All of these statistics point to one truth – that customers are only interested in seeking information as per their needs and with the two types of audience- first-time visitors and returning visitors, marketers need to have a different content strategy for both.
Keeping the same content for all levels of readers could be a disastrous content marketing strategy as the personas, stage in buying journey and buying behaviors are very different for first-time visitors and returning visitors/customers.
A Content Strategy for Engaging first-time visitors
Often in a hurry, first-time visitors tend to scan the information they have chanced upon and decide fast if the content is worth perusing. Content that has gone viral works best in picking interest, like the immensely popular Volvo advertisement featuring Van Damme.
While this type of ‘Hero’ content is able to pull in a massive number of visitors, marketers need to contend with an additional marketing challenge of anonymity to be able to convert visitors to customers. The answer could be found through the two-pronged approach of using first and third party data in conjunction with a smart personalization tool. A visitor who is viewing but not logged in can still receive personalized content because of technological advances where his or her device location and referral source allow for content customization.
A memorable welcome email /message sent immediately to increase recall, easily searchable content, information that is genuinely helpful and an inline chat facility are some of the other tactics employed by content strategists to keep the reader returning.
A Content Strategy for returning visitors
Metric driven marketers have realized that from 25% to as high as 90% of a firm’s bottom line is from returning customers. Hence it becomes critical that marketers employ an array of techniques to sustain the enthusiasm of readers long enough to convert them into customers. One strategy is to employ hub content; i.e., content that keeps the visitors returning with useful information targeted at a specific audience segment pushed at regular intervals. Showcasing blogs, case studies, information about new products or services attract the attention of a returning audience while enabling a bypass of already viewed advertisements.
Marketers can offer discounts and exclusive access while keeping the content relatable. A recent example of this is the OnePlus3 popup events where everyone is invited to events that offer offline sales for a limited period of time. The recorded event is then published on their Youtube channel. Apart from this, regular comparison content where OnePlus3 is compared with other phones is published to strengthen their position.
Gartner published a report that shared a statistic about companies that will have invested in content personalization by 2018 outselling those haven’t by 20%. Although this prediction is yet to be realized, marketers have taken it to heart if the wildly successful campaigns focusing on content personalization are anything to go by.